The past few weekends were pretty big for Platinum Dunes. Not only did their new movie Ouija see a pretty big opening (earning 7 times its budget in just a few weeks), but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was finally released in China as well. For those who don’t know, getting a film released in China is a pretty big deal, because it’s not always easy to do and they represent a big market. During its first week in China, TMNT brought home the bacon with $26.5 million, meaning that the company has earned over $60 million in the past few weeks alone.
In the middle of all this success, MoviePilot was given a fantastic opportunity to speak with Brad Fuller about recent achievements. Unsurprisingly, one of their first topics of conversation was the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Fuller had a lot of interesting things to say about the film and how they crafted it – some that may surprise turtle fans, and others that will probably sound pretty obvious. For instance, when told that the movie was a hit with kids, Fuller responded with this quip:
“That’s nice. That’s awesome, because that’s who we made it for and I’m glad. I keep hearing that, it’s more gratifying than saying we scared the crap out of people with Jason Voorhees.”
If you’ve seen the movie, you’re probably well aware that it was made for the kids. As much as the movie calls back to various different versions of the TMNT, it is very much its own project that stands out from the rest. This is a Ninja Turtles movie for a new generation, so it’s not really surprising to hear Fuller stating “that’s who we made it for.” However, his other statements about the movie and the franchise as a whole were a bit off-putting. Talking about his reaction to the movie’s initial release, Brad had this to say:
“If you had talked to me the day before, I was a wreck. There’s no way that you can ever predict the success of any movie. Especially on Turtles, I don’t know that we knew when we went into it how many people felt so….I guess we knew how many people felt passionately about it. But what was hard was as we got in the process of making the movie, so many people had different foundations of the Turtle knowledge. I was a guy who watched the movies. So that was what I used as my basis of understanding for the Turtles. But Drew read the comic books, so he had different things that he saw as Turtle lure. And then there were plenty of people who watched the cartoon. I’m too old for that. Drew and I are too old, so we didn’t watch the cartoon. So what we learned and what was hard to manage is forget the kid, because the kids didn’t really have the background. But the adults, the people who loved this property for so many years, they come to it with so much different knowledge. There’s not a unifying place that they came from. That was challenging.”
There are a few noteworthy comments to talk about here. For one thing, he mentions that they weren’t entirely prepared for how passionately people felt about the turtles. It seems like he was worried about how the fans and the younger movie goers would respond to the film, and that would make a lot of sense. After all, there was a lot of negativity surrounding the film before it came out and it must have been concerning to someone who just put over $100 million into the project.
Another interesting comment here is about all of the different experiences that went into making the film. Fuller explains that he was most familiar with the original movie series while others were more familiar with the comics. Of course, he also makes a comment about being “too old” for the cartoons, which is probably going to upset a few fans out there. A lot of adult TMNT fans watch and enjoy the animated series, so it seems kind of silly for someone like Brad to say that he’s grown out of it.
Regardless, it’s interesting to note just what went into creating the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, because it was definitely a success with younger viewers. A lot of older fans loved the movie as well, but as Fuller said, this one was made for the kids. The chance that Platinum Dunes took was to ignore what the younger audience may have wanted and instead establish something new for them. It would appear that their gambit has paid off handsomely, and that young fans are loving the new TMNT movie universe.
Some fans may not like how they went about creating this new branch of the Ninja Turtles franchise, but in the world of film, numbers usually speak louder than words. When it comes to the numbers, Platinum Dunes and Brad Fuller are definitely seeing a lot of success, so they must be doing something right. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or sound off in our forums!